Cooks Hill United (1st) v South Cardiff Gunners (4th)
Saturday 31 August, 2:30 pm, Darling St Oval
First Leg: South Cardiff Gunners 0 def. by Cooks Hill United 5
The first entry into the NEWFM Northern League One Grand Final will be decided at Darling St Oval between Cooks Hill United and South Cardiff.
Cooks Hill hold a commanding lead over South Cardiff as they put five past the Gunners in a dominant first leg display and are desperate to make their second Grand Final appearance in the space of three years.
However, South Cardiff were disappointed with their first leg effort and will be eager to atone for the damaging loss, while they still have 90 minutes to score five goals.
The Gunners will be without key attacker, Dino Fajkovic for the clash after receiving a red card in the previous fixture.
Cooks Hill sit in a very comfortable position but will want to keep their momentum going with more goals with Lee Ashton, Nick Russell and Marty Raines at the forefront of the attack.
With a coveted Grand Final spot on offer, Cooks Hill coach Graham Law said his side must be focused again on the task at hand.
“We have been speaking about this (making a Grand Final), a lot of us have been together a long time, some of us have been together as much as eight years,” Law said.
“We have all pretty much been together since day one, three years ago when I took over at Cookers.
“We will be as focused and ready for this game as we were the first leg, and we will be giving Southy the same level of respect and know we will have to be at our best to win the game again.
“We are in a very good place with a full squad to choose from, and this may be our last game together so it would mean the world to all of us, to be there on Grand Final day.”
South Cardiff have a huge mountain to climb, however coach Chris Moylan said his players can do it and they will be channelling another famous football club.
“We have to believe its possible, anything in football is possible,” Moylan said.
“If Barcelona can do it at the highest level, why can’t we, I expect my players to put in 100% and show last week was unfortunately, just one of those games.
“We have a great group of lads, they owe it to themselves and their team mates to turn up and show just how good we can play.
“We want to say at least we gave it a red-hot go.”
Belmont-Swansea United (2nd) vs West Wallsend (3rd)
Sunday 1 September, 2:30 pm, Blacksmiths Oval
First Leg: West Wallsend 0 def. by Belmont-Swansea United 1
Only one team will survive in the huge clash between Belmont-Swansea and West Wallsend, with a second Grand Final spot on the line.
With the tie still very much alive, both teams will be giving their all to be fighting again for the championship on September 8.
This historic rivalry will once again offer a match for the ages with Belmont Swansea holding a slim one goal lead after the first leg.
The Bluebells certainly had their chances in the first leg with Tye Jones and Brendan Frost still the danger-men, while the battle in midfield will be crucial to the outcome.
West Wallsend will also hopefully welcome back Tom Sparre, who can certainly create problems for defenders with his blistering speed.
Back at their favourite home in Blacksmiths, the Belswans boys will have a chance to make history and take part in a fourth-straight Grand Final and have plenty of experience in big games.
The championship defining match of last year will certainly be on the minds of both sets of players as West Wallsend will be desperate to send the reigning champions packing.
Ty Goldsmiths goal last game is the only thing which separates the two sides while Goldsmith will again lead the line and has been in fine form, bagging 7 goals in as many games since his mid-year arrival, and will look to link up with Reece Newton and Clayton Poole to put the second leg to bed.
With so much at stake for both sides, expect a big turnout for Sunday’s game while Belswans coach Mick Stafford said his boys can’t wait for the challenge.
“We are really looking forward to Sunday, it’s been such an enjoyable year together,” Stafford said.
“We have been working hard since January to achieve the goal we set as a squad, it will be great to reach the Grand Final, but we know there is plenty of work to do.
“It’s the only halftime in the tie, I’m expecting them (West Wallsend) to throw everything at us, we have to be prepared to match it and draw on our experience, passion and belief to win the football match.
“The club is the most important thing, nobody is bigger than the club, from canteen ladies, youth team players to our First Grade captain.
“We had huge support at Westy last week, it blew me away and we are all working together to achieve something special, a fourth Grand Final in as many years, we want to deliver that to everyone involved at Blacksmiths.”
West Wallsend has the opportunity to make a second straight Grand Final and with all three senior grades fighting for a Grand Final spot, interim coach Steve Thomson said they want to give it their all.
“We are still positive on getting something out of it, there is not much between the two playing groups, with only a goal separating them on three occasions,” Thomson said.
“As for the club and its history, it would mean the world (to make a Grand Final).
“It will be the same as the last three games, they’ll be very tough, hard to break down, we’ll concentrate on our shape and trying to hold onto the ball a bit better than last week.
“We have to be better.”